The establishment of the Mother City Orchestra in December 2020 signalled hope of regeneration for classical music in South Africa, following the heavy toll inflicted by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. But six months after the orchestra was launched, its orchestral players have been left high and dry.
Some musicians who were part of the short-lived Mother City Orchestra (MCO) are seeking legal advice after not receiving payment for the six shows they performed in April.
Chris Lodewyk, one MCO's directors, sent the 31-piece orchestra a letter at the end of April, informing them that he couldn't pay them.
The orchestra's first series is titled Johann Strauss Gala. (Screengrab)
In the signed letter, Lodewyk writes: "When I made the decision to establish the orchestra, I realised that quite substantial amounts of money would be needed to fund the orchestra. To this end, I applied to have an investment of R4.2-million released from Allan Gray, the managers of the investment. I was, however, informed that because of the early release of the funds, there would be penalties of up to 10% payable. Further to this, I would have to wait 120 days for the funds to be released by them [because] according to...